Best of our wild blogs: 8 -10 Aug 2019

Fish Expedition Day 8
wild shores of singapore

Fish Expedition Day 9 - National Day!
wild shores of singapore

Fish Expedition Day 10
wild shores of singapore

11 Aug (Sun): Registration opens for Sisters Islands Intertidal walks in September 2019
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

A Public Forum by SIBiol on "Environmental Education in a Changing World"
Psychedelic Nature

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Haze is less likely in Singapore for now, says NEA, as number of hotspots dropped

Clara Chong Straits Times 10 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE - The Republic experienced brief showers in the morning on Saturday (Aug 10) with prevailing winds blowing mainly from the south-southeast.

The number of hotspots detected in Sumatra dropped from 68 to 36 due to cloudiness. Localised smoke plumes from hotspots in Riau continued to be observed.

As of 5pm, the 24-hr PSI was in the moderate range, between 62-67.

Showers are to be expected over parts of Singapore on Sunday, where prevailing winds are expected to blow from the southeast or south. The 24-hr PSI range is expected to remain in the moderate range while the 1-hr PM 2.5 readings for the next 24 hours is expected to be in Band I (normal).

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Recycling bins are for recyclables, not junk

IKEA’s move to give 18,000 homes a free recycling bin might help raise awareness, but won’t do anything to improve Singapore’s recycling rate if we don’t learn how to recycle right, says CNA's Nazurah Razali.
Nazurah Razali Channel NewsAsia 9 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE: In a move to help Singapore residents recycle regularly, the National Environment Agency (NEA) announced last week that 18,000 households in Singapore will get free IKEA-sponsored recycling bins over the next few months.

While this move has been welcomed by many, the reality is that it is unlikely to do much to move the needle on our recycling rate unless we get to grips with what can or cannot go into recycling bins.

Unfortunately, many people in Singapore are terrible at recycling. While there are some who are better at sorting out trash and recyclables, most of us need a lesson in the basic skills.
In April, a survey by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and NEA found that many Singaporeans still do not know what cannot be recycled.

Out of 2,003 households surveyed, 67 per cent thought that soiled paper food packaging can be recycled and almost half thought that tissue paper can be placed in blue recycling bins or chutes.

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Malaysia: API readings very unhealthy in Miri, unhealthy in Klang

The Star 10 Aug 19;

PETALING JAYA: Miri in Sarawak recorded a "very unhealthy" Air Pollutant Index (API) reading, while in Klang the air quality has been determined to be "unhealthy".

A check with the Department of Environment's API website showed that the Miri station recorded an API level of 391 as of 2pm on Saturday (Aug 10).

It had been logging a steady "very unhealthy" readings from 2am.

SK Kuala Baram 2 in Sarawak had a "unhealthy" API level of 135. It had a steady "unhealthy" API reading since 6am.

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Malaysia: Dengue cases at an all-time high

LOH FOON FONG The Star 10 Aug 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: Dengue fever cases in Malaysia reached an all time high, hitting nearly 80, 000 cases and 113 deaths reported from January until Aug 3.

Deputy Health Minister Lee Boon Chye expects the number to hit 150, 000 cases by year end if all out efforts are not taken to keep it under control.

The last highest number of cases recorded was in 2015 which recorded 120, 836 cases with 336 deaths.

The figures between January and Aug 3 is almost double that of last year’s figures for the same period – 42, 496 cases with 70 deaths.

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Malaysia: Elephants feeding on Orang Asli crops

SIRA HABIBU The Star 9 Aug 19;

PETALING JAYA: Rampaging elephants are destroying Orang Asli community farms in Pos Simpor near Gua Musang, Kelantan, sparking fears of famine during the coming rainy season.

Villagers in Kampung Jader, Kampung Penad and Kampung Ceranok claimed that logging and land-clearing activities in the Balah Forest Reserve had forced the elephants out of their normal habitat, leaving them to forage for food in villages.

Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Wilayah Tanah Adat Pos Simpor chairman Nur Mohd Syafiq Dendi Abdullah said the elephants had been destroying the community’s self-sustainable farms since July.“Our tapioca, pumpkin, corn and banana plants have been destroyed, affecting over 200 people from 48 households here.

“We fear the worst during the rainy season as it will be difficult for us to go to town in Gua Musang to get our grocery supplies.“We have always relied on our own food crops, especially during the rainy season when the towns are flooded and we are locked down in the jungle, ” he added.

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Malaysia: Damaged reefs in marine park off KK are recovering

Avila Geraldine New Straits Times 9 Aug 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Damaged reefs within the protected marine park off the state capital are regenerating.

A large flat reef at the Midreef diving point near Pulau Manukan Island, in particular, has seen new coral growth aided by artificial reefs. This was after the area’s corals were wiped out by Tropical Storm Greg in 1996.

Manukan is one of the five islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (TARP), a protected marine area. The other islands are Sapi, Mamutik, Sulug and Gaya.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) reef ecologist Dr Zarinah Waheed said Sabah Parks had initiated reef restoration work by placing artificial reef balls in some of the damaged areas.

She said this established solid substrate for new corals to migrate and attach themselves.

“The problem with damaged reef is that, when coral or any hard limestone structures are destroyed, it will become small loose pieces and these move with the water current.

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WWF-Malaysia tells Sabah to rethink mining proposal on Tun Mustapha Park

Roy Goh New Straits Times 8 Aug 19;

KOTA KINABALU: A silica sand mining proposal on an island off the northern district of Kudat concerns the World Wildlife Fund-Malaysia.

The mining was proposed on Pulau Balambangan which is located within the 900,000ha Tun Mustapha Park, the largest marine park in the country. There are also some 50 islands within the park.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal announced this during the State Legislative Assembly sitting, which ended on Wednesday.

In response to this, WWF-Malaysia Conservation director Dr Henry Chan urged the state government to turn down the silica sand mining proposasl.

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Indonesia: Riau Police name palm oil corporation as forest fire suspect

Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 10 Aug 19;

The Riau Police on Friday named palm oil company PT Sumber Sawit Sejahtera as the suspect in a forest fire in Pelalawan regency, Riau.

The corporation is alleged to be responsible for causing a fire on a 150-hectare field in Meranti district, Pelalawan.

Riau Police chief Insp. Gen. Widodo Eko Prihastopo said the police decided to name the company the suspect after gathering enough evidence and statements from expert witnesses.

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Plant-based diet can fight climate change - UN

Roger Harrabin BBC 8 auG 19;

Switching to a plant-based diet can help fight climate change, UN experts have said.

A major report on land use and climate change says the West's high consumption of meat and dairy produce is fuelling global warming.

But scientists and officials stopped short of explicitly calling on everyone to become vegan or vegetarian.

They said that more people could be fed using less land if individuals cut down on eating meat.

The document, prepared by 107 scientists for the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says that if land is used more effectively, it can store more of the carbon emitted by humans.

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